The singapore prize, which was established in 1992 by the Singapore Book Council, is a biennial award to recognise and reward the best works of fiction, nonfiction and poetry published in Singapore. In addition to a 3,000 Singapore dollar (US$2,158) cash prize, each winner receives a commissioned trophy and a gift code to audiobook platform StoryTel.
The award celebrates “the art of writing about the human condition, exploring themes of humanity, nature, politics and society” according to its website. It’s a prize that recognizes and rewards literary excellence, but also promotes a spirit of community.
It’s one of the most important awards that the SBC organises, and it’s a significant one in Singapore’s cultural calendar. The winner’s work will be featured in a curated section of the Singapore Book Festival, which is also organised by the SBC.
Besides this award, the SBC organises other literature prizes for young writers and poets. The most prominent ones are the Singapore Literature Prize and the Yong Siew Toh Young Writers’ Award, both of which are awarded every two years.
These awards are meant to inspire students in Singapore and connect them to the Harvard community. In the case of the latter, Harvard’s alumni in Singapore are a valuable source of mentoring for young writers and poets in the area.
There’s a strong focus on promoting interfaith dialogue and social harmony in Singapore, which is why the University Scholars Programme also gives out an annual $500 cash prize to a student who demonstrates a commitment to such activities. The award is open to all University Scholars Programme graduates who have demonstrated a strong commitment to social harmony through acts of kindness and generosity, whether or not they’re related to religion, race, nationality or ethnicity.
For a healthy civil society, it’s essential that people are committed to their communities and put the interests of others above their own. The Harvard Prize Book (Singapore) aims to celebrate such individuals, irrespective of their race, gender or religion, and to encourage them to make a difference in their own communities.
The winners of the prize are chosen by an independent panel of judges. These judges are drawn from the worlds of art, education and business.
They are expected to have extensive experience in their respective fields and have demonstrated the ability to think critically and communicate well. They must also be passionate about the arts and have a clear understanding of their own role in society.
In addition to the award, the winner will be invited to a gala dinner and receive a plaque from the SBC. The SBC will also donate S$3,000 to the winner’s chosen charity.
The prize is open to both Singaporean and international scholars, and the selection will be made by an independent panel of judges. These judges include representatives from Singapore’s literary, cultural and social sectors.
Among the prize’s main competitors are Not Great, But At Least Something by Cyril Wong, Shantih Shantih Shantih by Daryl Qilin Yam, Mallika Naguran’s She Never Looks Quite Back and Jee Leong Koh’s Snow At 5pm: Translations Of An Insignificant Japanese Poet.